"Of all national assets, archives are the most precious:
they are the gift of one generation to another,
and the extent of our care of them marks the
extent of our civilization." Arthur Doughty.

About Us

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San Juan Archipelago, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 650, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

03 September 2017


Labor Day was created by the labor movement in the late nineteenth century to celebrate the achievements of workers. It is considered the unofficial end of summer that became a federal holiday in 1894.
      Labour Day in Canada has been celebrated on the first Monday in September since the 1880s.
      From this historical archive, we remember some of the workers from the maritime industry, hard-working people who were caught on film, from an industry spread wide and deep throughout the Pacific Northwest. We start with a salt born in San Juan County;
A lifetime career of safe transport of
passengers & freight in the PNW.
Sam Barlow served on many vessels but
he is most remembered for his work on
serving San Juan County where he
was born and raised.
Original photo from the S.P.H.S.©

Hail to the workers transporting the lumber.
Puget Sound Freight Lines 
On land and sea 
Original undated photo from S.P.H.S.©

George Leis
Keeper of the Canoes for 37 years!
at the time of this 1950 photograph at the UW.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

Capt. John Backland Jr., 1937.
Highly regarded Arctic trader aboard
schooner C.S. HOLMES.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

trying to save the

Schooner WAWONA,
Seattle, WA., May 1950.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

Hauling gold ore into the Port of Seattle,

Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©

Chet North
building a set of reefnet boats
at his shop in Deer Harbor,
Orcas Island, in the 1940s.
Photos kindly submitted by
Barbara Brown, Orcas Island.
Commercial fishermen pulling in salmon
on a reefnet boat near Squaw Bay.
Crew Jim Sesby (L) and gear owner 
Ed Hopkins (R) and top, 1983.
Shaw Island, WA.
 photocopies courtesy of the Hopkins family.

Bob Schoen and his freight boat
Built in Hadlock, WA., in 1929

for the Port of Port Townsend.
The required crew, one.
Bob Schoen found her in 1950 and brought her
to the San Juans where she carried
lumber, power-cables, toilets & sinks, people,

groceries, sheep to slaughter, logging equipment, 
gas, diesel, lube oil by the barrels, cattle.
Other later skippers were Dave Strickland,
Steve Barnes, Corkey North, and Al Jones.
Original photos courtesy of the Schoen family & Steve McKenna.
Click to enlarge.

Island Belt Cannery fill-in workers from the community
on a day when tenders delivered an overload of fish.
Bruns, Crawford, Fowler, Lee, and Stillman family
members have been identified in this photo with help
from the young boy in the front row, right, Lee Bruns.
Harney Channel, Shaw Island, c. 1920.
Riggers and sailmakers,
Rupert and Grenville Broom,
at the historic sail loft established by their father, George Broom.
For ships sailing in the war service, and later, they were 
manufacturing boatswain's chairs, pilot ladders, lifeboat sails, 
and debarkation nets of many kinds. 
Pier 8, Seattle, WA., 1943.
Original photo from the archives of S.P.H.S.©

Rev. Glion T. Benson
with his new 26' mission boat,
boating to work in the San Juan Islands.
Dated June 1957.
Original photo purchased for the archives of the S.P.H.S.© 

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